Why Is There So Much Repetition in Our Infant/Toddler Classes?
We use the same songs and games each week as a way of establishing a consistent routine for the children. The songs and games provides our little swimmers with a consistent warm-up. It also has the developmental purpose of allowing a child to learn how to play along with the song (e.g., splashing on the beeps, kicking on the kicks). While this might not seem like a major developmental improvement for an adult, it is a huge change for the child.
We also evolve the songs over time in the different classes -- more facial immersions, bubbles, better swishing, etc. Using the same songs allows us to make subtle changes in the activity without throwing the child off. If we always used different songs, we would not achieve the same results over time because the young ones would not recognize the patterns. It's easier to recognize our intent if you shift your attention from the activities and focus on the skills that we are building using the activities.
The Infant-Toddler 1 class has two different tracks: the basic and advanced. The objectives of each section are:
- 1. Basic -- Water adjustment, class routine adjustment, learning to cue on jumps, learning to grab the wall or Mr. Duck on an approach, and building to a two second swim and facial immersion. The last skill is the biggest focus.
- 2. Advanced -- Three second swim with a kick, jumping from Mr. Duck to a facial immersion, swimming back to Mr. Duck with a 1 second held glide, and facial dip on Ring-around-the-Rosie
The advanced sequence prepares and conditions the child for the Infant-Toddler 2 class where there are 15-20 facial immersions and swims.
Basically the songs and games are vehicles for teaching the swimming skills. Our view is that if the kids know the songs and games, they will be able to know what to do and we'll be able to more easily see behavioral and skill changes over the weeks. We have come up with some supplemental activities that we can throw into the last couple of weeks of the session, but the format needs to stay largely the same.
What might seem boring or repetitive to you as an adult is soothing and structuring to a young child. Repetition is usually not a problem for kids of this age (as any parent who has a child that has seen Frozen 80 times can attest).